CBS’ “Late Show” will remain in New York at the Ed Sullivan Theater with Stephen Colbert takes over hosting of the show next year, under an agreement announced on Wednesday by the network’s CEO Leslie Moonves and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
CBS will be eligible for at least $11 million in tax credits over five years and $5 million in grants, the latter to cover the cost of renovations to the historic theater. In turn, the network is committing to about 200 year-round jobs, based in New York.
When David Letterman announced his retirement from the show in April, it almost immediately started an effort by Los Angeles and New York to lure the show. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti fired off a letter to Moonves, although such a move has been regarded as a longshot. Colbert, too, has roots in Manhattan, where he has better access as host of “The Colbert Report” to political guests than he would have in Los Angeles.
“The television and film industries are thriving in the Empire State – creating jobs and fueling dozens of other sectors across the state. Les Moonves and CBS have made the right decision in choosing to continue investing in New York, and as David Letterman passes the baton to Stephen Colbert, I look forward to watching ‘The Late Show’ from the historic Ed Sullivan Theater for years to come,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Moonves said, “David Letterman has graced this hall and city with comedy and entertainment that defined a generation. When Dave decides to pass the baton next year, we look forward to welcoming Stephen Colbert, one of the most innovative and respected forces on TV, to this storied television theater. I would also like to applaud Gov. Cuomo for all that he has done to keep New York a vibrant and attractive location for all forms of television production. We’re excited to be here in late night for many years to come.”
CBS’s tax credits will come from the Excelsior tax credit program, which is primarily geared toward job creation. The $11 million will come over five years to “cover eligible costs based on the proposed significant level of investment and job commitments.”
Update: Garcetti released a statement this afternoon, suggesting that the city of Los Angeles can’t compete because it doesn’t have the tax credits to give. “This announcement underscores the importance of my work to expand the film and television credit program to create jobs and boost our economy here in California. I am focused on passing AB 1839 and improving the filming infrastructure in Los Angeles so that we can once again compete with other states and countries and welcome the next generation of storytellers to the entertainment capital of the world.”